Jennifer Baldwin is the Director of Awards and Grants at the Psi Chi Central Office and has provided answers for some of the most frequently asked questions regarding awards and grants.
Awards and Grants Questions
What is the
difference between an award and a grant?
An award is given to recognize research and
accomplishments that were completed in the past.
Awards are not restrictive in how the funds may be used.
grant provides funding to complete research in the future. It is more
restrictive in how the funds may be used and may require submission of reports following the research period.
What is SmarterSelect?
SmarterSelect is our online application submission portal.
When you apply for an award or a grant, or you apply to become a reviewer or sponsor, you submit your application through SmarterSelect. Psi Chi Central Office uses this software to manage and organize
How competitive are
The vast majority of Psi Chi awards and grants are offered to Psi Chi members only, allowing for a
much smaller applicant pool. Psi Chi programs are numerous and well-funded.
What are the
differences between undergraduate, graduate, and faculty member categories?
Undergraduate student: Psi Chi members are
eligible for grants if they will be currently enrolled as an undergraduate
student during the time period intended to carry out the research.
Graduate student: Psi Chi members are eligible
for grants if they are currently enrolled in a graduate program, either
Master’s or PhD, and will be enrolled during the time period intended to carry
out the research.
Faculty: Psi Chi members are eligible for grants
if they are currently employed by an institution of higher education or other
institution that has an institutional review board (IRB) for reviewing research
with human subjects. This includes full-time tenured and tenure track faculty,
part-time faculty, adjunct faculty, and those in postdoc positions.
The award or award program I want to apply to is closed. When will the application portal open again?
Application portals open approximately 30 days before the program deadline. Earlier than 30 days, only the previous version is available for applicants to review to ensure that they have ample time to prepare.
How soon after the deadline will I be notified of a funding decision?
Both recipients and nonrecipients will be notified via e-mail approximately 30 to 60 days after the program deadline.
Why didn't I receive any feedback on my application?
All of our reviewers generously volunteer their time to evaluate applications and are not required to provide any additional feedback or comments.
What are the biggest
mistakes most applicants make?
Not following the
instructions. Each award and grant has guidelines detailing what should
be submitted. These four things are often overlooked:
- Length requirements. If the
instructions state six pages, then only submit six pages.
- APA style. Ask many people to proof your submission, and a final
review by your research sponsor or advisor is always advised.
- Masking. Remove all identifying indicators including your name,
your advisor’s name, the institution’s name, and the geographic area from the entire submission. Be sure
to also check forms, fliers, and other appendices. Submissions must be completely anonymous. To mask a document, you may black out information or use XXX. There are numerous online resources that provide examples of masked submissions (also known as blind submissions). Masking is required to prevent
bias when the Research Grants Committee reviews the proposal.
- Timeliness. All components including letters of recommendation
must be submitted by the deadline.
What should I do with
grant money that was not used in my research project?
Individual and Corporate Recipients with unused grant funds after project completion may either choose to keep the unused portion as taxable income or to donate it. If the recipient elects to donate the unused portion, we suggest the funds go to your Psi Chi chapter or campus psychology lab. Please do not send the unused funds back to the Psi Chi Central Office.
Non-Taxable Entities Recipients with unused grant funds after project completion should donate it to your Psi Chi chapter, campus psychology lab, or another worthwhile entity or endeavor. Please do not send the unused funds back to the Psi Chi Central Office.
What timeline do you
recommend for preparing an application?
Awards and grants have different timelines.
awards, the majority of the work has already been completed; and a 30-day timeline is recommended.
the draft of your essay 25 to 30 days before the deadline.
your research sponsor proof the cleanest version of the draft.
provide a copy of the cover sheet for the program to those assisting in
proofing to ensure you are following all the instructions.
Grants need a longer timeline; a minimum of 45 to 60 days to prepare
your application is recommended.
Why is applying for an award or grant
your institutional review board (IRB) application submitted as soon as possible.
letters of recommendation well in
- Fifteen days before the grant submission is due, make sure you have a final draft of
all components to the application.
for your research advisor to proof the materials and check them against the
cover sheet to ensure all the instructions are being followed. Instead
of waiting until the last day, submit your application online a week before the deadline so that you
have time to handle any unforeseen issues.
Completing the process of applying prepares you
- to demonstrate your ability to communicate results
to graduate school reviewers,
- to show potential employers that you can develop
and implement ideas within the
restrictions of budgets and institutional guidelines, and
- to highlight your achievement in cover letters
and personal essays.